In detail

Rabbit has diarrhea: causes and treatment


If your rabbit suffers from diarrhea, you should not delay the visit to the vet for too long. The animals have a sensitive digestive tract and can also easily become dehydrated if the diarrhea remains untreated. Here you can find out everything about possible causes and the treatment of the disease. If a rabbit has diarrhea, it's best to go to the vet right away - Shutterstock / Tyler Olson

Diarrhea is very stressful for rabbits. The animals are very sensitive. The disease irritates their intestinal mucosa and can ignite them, and the skin around the anus can easily become inflamed due to sticky residues.

Therefore, go to the vet with your rabbit at the latest after 24 hours, so that he can research the causes and treat your pet properly. What Reasons Can Rabbit Diarrhea Have?

What are the causes of diarrhea in rabbits?

The most common reasons for rabbit diarrhea are feeding errors. Dry food from the trade, lots of cereals, treats and sweets such as yogurt drops, too much fruit or bulbous vegetables strain the sensitive digestive tract of the animals and cause problems. Inferior, unclean or rotten hay can also cause diarrhea.

Fresh green fodder should be the main feed for rabbits, but they won't get a change too quickly. As soon as you introduce new foods to the rabbit diet, feed them slowly. This means that at first you feed only a little of the new food to the usual feed and gradually increase the proportion.

Vegetables and green fodder must not be contaminated with pollutants such as fertilizers, car emissions or pesticides. Always rinse it well before your animal eats it, but also dry it well afterwards, because water residues and food that is too moist can also cause diarrhea. If the Mümmelnasen have dental problems or too hastily swallow down the existing food due to insufficient food supply, this can also cause digestive problems.

Sometimes parasites are the cause of the disease

If everything is in order with rabbit nutrition and your long ear still gets diarrhea, parasites can also be the cause. Mites, yeasts, giardia, coccidia or worms are not only troublesome for dogs and cats, but also for rabbits. If you are unsure why your rabbit may have diarrhea, collect a sample of the faeces from the cage and bring it to the vet. He examines the sample carefully and can find out whether and which parasites triggered the digestive problems.

If neither pathogens nor misfeeding are to blame, your pet may have accidentally poisoned yourself by eating poisonous plants or plastic. Some rabbits, especially those with white fur or white animals with spot checks, are also particularly susceptible to digestive problems, since they often suffer from the congenital hereditary disease megacolon. The large intestine is enlarged so that the food is not digested well. Stress can also underlie the disease.

Here is an overview of the possible causes of diarrhea in rabbits:

  • malnutrition
  • too fast change of diet
  • too wet feed
  • infections
  • parasites
  • poisoning
  • stress
  • megacolon

Treating rabbit diarrhea: what helps?

If you have mild diarrhea, you can first try slowly getting your rabbit used to a healthier diet. However, if there is no improvement or the condition worsens within 24 hours, it is best to go to the veterinarian with your little animal and a faecal sample.

However, if you have any further symptoms such as fatigue or refusal to eat, you should not hesitate for a second and call the veterinary emergency service immediately, as there is a risk to life in this case. The doctor then uses infusions to stabilize the circulation and give medication to stop the diarrhea. Depending on the results of the faecal examination, he also prescribes other medications to treat the cause.

In severe cases, the long ear must be treated in hospital, with minor complaints you can usually take care of your little animal healthy at home. Wipe the leftovers from the anus regularly so that the skin does not catch fire and change the food gently. Also make sure you have sufficient fluids, in addition to water, lukewarm, diluted fennel and chamomile tea are also suitable.

Can you protect rabbits from diarrhea?

With species-appropriate rabbit nutrition, you can already do a great deal to prevent digestive problems. You can also protect your rabbit from parasites in the best possible way by keeping the cage clean and cleaning it regularly.

Otherwise: Always keep an eye on your long ears so that you can quickly recognize changes in behavior, problems with the feed and symptoms of illness and get the veterinarian to help you in good time.